How to Donate
CSF Board Members

Alison Johnson, Chair
Brunswick, Maine

Pamela Gibson,
Churchville, Virginia

Lynn Lawson
Evanston, Illinois

Jeffrey C. May
Tyngsborough, Massachusetts

Ann McCampbell, M.D.
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Karen McDonell
Gig Harbor, Washington

Gerald Ross, M.D.
Bountiful, Utah

Robert Weggel
Reading, Massachusetts

  The World Trade Center attack produced chemical exposures of almost unprecedented magnitude. Photo courtesy of Don Shapiro, Healthy Housing Coalition.

Welcome to the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation

The primary goal of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, is to raise public awareness about multiple chemical sensitivity. To this end, we are now enabling visitors to this site to play a short documentary produced/directed by Alison Johnson that is titled Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Short Introduction. This DVD includes footage of Dr. L. Christine Oliver, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, CSF chair Alison Johnson, and Dr. Anne Steinemann, who speaks about her important prevalence studies and her recent study on the toxic ingredients in common fragranced products. The film also includes several MCS patients, among them veterans of the 1991 Gulf War and First Responders and others exposed to the World Trade Center toxins.

Click here to play "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Short Introduction

Click here to read the transcript of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Short Introduction


New CDC Policy Limits the Use of Fragranced Products in All CDC Facilities Nationwide

In June 2009, the CDC implemented a new indoor environmental quality policy for all its facilities. This policy prohibits, among other things:

  • Incense, candles, or reed diffusers
  • Plug-in or spray air fresheners

The policy also states: "[The] CDC encourages employees to be as fragrance-free as possible when they arrive in the workplace. Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment, and the use of some products with fragrance may be detrimental to the health of workers with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma, and chronic headaches/migraines."

View the entire 13-page CDC policy.

Recent Research from Dr. Anne Steinemann

Dr. Anne Steinemann, formerly a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Public Affairs at the University of Washington, has recently published important research documenting the presence of a large number of toxic chemicals in widely used fragranced products, including detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectants, cleaning products, shampoos, and other household and personal-care products.

Read more about Dr. Steinemann's research

Useful information from publications by members of the CSF Board:

What Is MCS?
This is the first section of a booklet published by Ann McCampbell, M.D.
Read more

Making Your Environment Safe
This is the first section of Chapter Four in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide by Pamela Reed Gibson, Ph.D.
Read more

Videos and books by Alison Johnson
Visitors to Johnson’s website can play most of her documentaries and read excerpts from her books.

HUD Considers Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to be a Disability

Another goal of the Foundation is to call attention to the housing problems faced by those with multiple chemical sensitivity. There is a great need for housing that is constructed, remodeled, or furnished in such a way as to minimize the use of building materials and furnishings that contain and release formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that can cause severe problems for the chemically sensitive. We also believe that it is important to educate landlords about the effects that their pest-control or cleaning chemicals can have on the chemically sensitive. In 2004 the Foundation provided seed money to produce a DVD to raise awareness about chemical sensitivity among landlords serving renters receiving funds from programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This DVD contains an introduction from Bennie Howard, then Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Disabilities at HUD, in which he stated that HUD considers multiple chemical sensitivity to be a disability under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Click here to read Bennie Howard's complete statement, a portion of which appears in Chemical Sensitivity: A 15-Minute Introduction.

NIEHS Seminar: "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity"

A major milestone in the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness about chemical sensitivity occurred in October 2010, when Chair Alison Johnson was invited to present a seminar titled “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Rapidly Growing Disorder” at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a branch of the NIH. This event was cosponsored by the NIEHS National Toxicology Program and the NIEHS Disability Advocacy Committee.

Click here for the article about the seminar appearing in the December issue of the NIEHS newsletter.

Ground Zero and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation has engaged in various activities to investigate and help publicize the probable connection between multiple chemical sensitivity and the adverse health effects being experienced by those living or working near the World Trade Center, who were exposed to an unprecedented mixture of potentially toxic chemicals after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. We believe that knowledge about this potential chemical sensitivity connection will help ill New Yorkers reduce their symptoms. By raising public awareness that exposure to a chemical soup like that encountered near Ground Zero can cause long-term health problems, including sensitivity to everyday chemicals, we hope that in the future public officials will be less cavalier about the risks involved in exposure to toxic chemicals.

Click here to visit our World Trade Center page.

Chemical Sensitivity Bibliography

Our efforts to raise awareness about chemical sensitivity include the distribution of a six-page selected bibliography of studies and articles on chemical sensitivity published in peer-reviewed journals. The amount of solid research on this subject is expanding each year, and we believe it is important to alert physicians and researchers to scientific information on this condition that is as yet not always recognized or understood. One of our goals in distributing this list is to stimulate other scientists to consider launching research studies in this field.

Click here for the Selected Bibliography of Research Articles.




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Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, PO Box 283, Topsham, ME 04086

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